Friday, June 30, 2006

The SABLE Clan Goes North

This is primarily a travel post. There's not a lot of knitting content but loads of nature photos. Be forewarned!

On the 25th we drove north, toward Hartman Creek State Park, located just west of Waupaca. Just north of DeForest, we ran into a pretty big thunderstorm and had to pull over on the Interstate. It hailed for a good long time as we sat in a line of parked cars on the shoulder of the highway.
Sorry for the reflection in this picture. This was taken as we approached the big, dark cloud.

The park itself was very nice. It had all been logged over for farm land in the 19th century. Large tracts in that part of central Wisconsin have been replanted with pines in evenly spaced rows, which makes for a surreal experience for those of us who expect woodland to be a bit more random.

There are two small lakes, connected by a marshy area, which were created as a fish hatchery in the early 20th century. The swimming lake has a nice sandy bottom and no visible algae. The water was a pleasant temperature: not too cold, not too soupy. Our first evening there, we went over to have a quick look at the lake and the boys both wanted to swim. We didn't have the bathing suits with us (they were back at the site) so Owen wore his shorts and The Little Emperor wore his undies. Since the beach was deserted, we figured no one would mind.

When we first arrived on the beach, The Little Emperor had chased away a skein of geese (look it up; they're only a gaggle in flight). While the guys were swimming, the geese ventured back onto the beach. The Little Emperor wasn't having any of that. Here he is, on goose patrol, in his soaking wet tighty-whities.

Wednesday afternoon brought a big long thunderstorm. I got some knitting done, sitting in the van while the guys fought in the camper. Eventually we decided to go to Stevens Point. I was curious about Herschnerr's, the capital of kitch. I found some good deals in the clearance rack. We also hit a Salvation Army store and picked up a few Kinex kits for Owen, a stuffed raccoon for the Little Emperor and some other miscellaneous amusements. Back at the campsite, the rain had moved out and it was a nice evening.

Here are some nature pics from around the park, some by Scott. He had possession of the camera more than I did on this trip.

Lichen by Scott

Monarch by Scott

Dragonfly by Scott

More tomorrow.

Seen in Rural, WI

Just south of Waupaca WI, there is a very cute little village named Rural. No joking! It's the prettiest little village in the whole midwest. And one particularly beautiful old house had this marker prominently placed in their yard.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Gone this week

The SABLE clan is going camping for 5 days, starting tomorrow. We'll be up north a bit, near Waupaca, at Hartman Creek State Park. The weather should be fairly reasonable: maybe a little on the cool side, which is fine with me. I'm not sure how much knitting I'll get done up there, but I'll eat lots of s'mores and other good camping fare.

If you have any problems with any of my patterns, I'll help you as soon as I get back. If you have problems completing a download, or opening a pdf, Wendy can probably help you.

See you all on the weekend. Probably with pictures!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Two more pics from Olbrich

Several years ago the Thai government gave the Pavilion to the University of Wisconsin and it was eventually decided to put it in Olbrich Gardens. Read more about the Thai Pavilion.

I'm especially pleased that my boys love the gardens. They love looking at all the plantings and enjoying the smells. And Owen especially commented on how beautiful the area around the Thai Pavilion is.

Here's the gold detail from the columns.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer day at Olbrich Gardens

The boys and I went to Olbrich Gardens this morning. Here are a few of the pictures. They all get big if you click 'em.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Really done

Meet Shelagh! The pattern is written, the details photographed, and all awaits the magic touch of Wendy W. Now to move forward to the next project.

Pattern available here!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ah, the knitting machine

Some of you astute blog groupies may have caught on to the fact that the two Wendys and I have a little group project coming up. We started with a basic sleeveless shell, with options for waist darts and short row darts in the bust. Wendy B finished her shell really quickly, which is no surprise. Garments seem to fly off her fingers at a record speed. Wendy W has had a harder time finding her groove on this project. And me? I was engulfed in pattern-writing for the soon-to-be-released cardigan, and didn't give much thought to the shell project. Other than writing the bare-bones outline that we all started with. (No, not really even a pattern. Just the stitch counts for full bust and a few other parts.)

On June 8, I sent this photo to the two Wendys, showing my bottom edge border:

Tonight I went to my basement lair and hung that paltry little border on the machine. Even with fiddling with internal shaping (rather than at the edges of the piece), I got that shell back done in about 2 hours. Tomorrow night, if the gods of knitting are smiling on me, I'll get a front done. And then VOILA! A new pattern, not too long after the one that seemed to take forever.

(Have I mentioned that my kids are on summer vacation? Have I mentioned just how much that cramps my time for knitting and designing? Have I mentioned that I'm already living for September? And we still have to get through the rest of June, and all of July and August. Good thing I'm a natural born night-owl.)

There are some projects for which a knitting machine is very well suited. And the shell is one. Mostly stockinette, worked in pieces and seamed. Yes, the internal shaping is a bit slow, because my biggest transfer tool is only 3 st. wide. Even so, with my bad left hand it's a joy to make a half a garment in 2 hours. At 5 st. per inch, I might add.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

K is for...

Here are some K items that I like:

a kiwi fruit

My KnitKing cone winder

My LK-150 Knitting Machine


The little Krups coffee maker I bought at St. Vincent's that sustains me through my summer days with my Kids.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Gifted! (In a Cheap A$$ sort of way.)

Miss Notso Many Penny has sent a little box of CheapA$$ goodies.

the spread

Older son and his first itty bitty airplane. He loves folding paper. Started with origami at about age 4. Give him a paper folding project and he's happy for hours.

The collection of greatest Polkas is perfect for Wisconsin: all those German and Polish immigrants. Here's an idea for the coffeeshop? I'll have to give it a listen!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Path Phase 1 complete

The first part of the great garden path project is done. The next section for digging has been roughly marked out. We're running out of places to put the extra dirt! If you live near Madison and want to come with a truck for some nice organic dirt, please let me know.

I've been trying to make progress on the purple cardigan pattern today. There've been some big distractions, like the mother-of-all temper tamtrums thrown by the Little Emperor this evening. There's still a lot of persnickety work to be done. I'm hoping for some quality work time tomorrow evening. The lace pattern seems so simple that it ought not to require a chart, BUT I also don't want to write out line by line instructions of how to work the increases into the pattern. It's only a four row repeat, but offering it in seven sizes makes for a little more thinking. Top-down raglans may be easier to knit, but they are somewhat harder to write patterns for.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More Progress Reports...

My guys have been making great progress on the path. After this section that runs along the long side of the porch is completed, they will start on the parts that bend around to the back patio and to the front door. Mr. SABLE reports that the brick setting itself goes very fast. The digging really is the hard part. If we had any sense, we probably would have rented a mini-hoe. We might still do that for future Big Digs.

Here's a pretty bad picture of the purple cardigan. (Sorry. Quick'n'dirty and all. That's the trouble with trying to blog before a 30 minute video tape ends.) It's draping off the front of the porch glider and isn't a short jacket: you just can't see the whole thing. I've done all the knitting. I need to darn in ends, sew up the sleeve seams (yes, I worked them flat to avoid changes in gauge), buy some buttons, create some decorative loops for buttons, and wash and block the whole thing. I'm pleased with it and suspect that it will get a lot of use in my sweater wardrobe. When I write it up, I think I'll add an option for gals with large hips to increase under the bustline to get a little flare to cover the hips.

edited to add: I just gave the cardigan a little wash and stretched it out to dry on a mesh rack. I think it will spread nicely where it needs to. The yarn and pattern stitch seem to have enough give in them that I should be quite happy with the fit of the finished piece.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

J is for June

I have had a hard time coming up with a good J photo. Finally, a few days ago, I realized that I had stalled long enough that the month of June was almost upon us. Hallelujah! Saved. Dan suggested a photo of watermelon at the lake, which would be a good idea, but the fates are conspiring to keep us away from the lake today. I did take a few garden shots a little earlier today, which are nice summer images.
I've had a hard time uploading to Photobucket today. I wonder if the whole internet is running a little slow today? Or just the sites I try to use? I'll get the other photos loaded this evening, when I hope that everything will be working faster.

Thankfully, K will be a piece of cake, as I've had that one planned for weeks.

Knitting has been slow the last several days. After a big push on the purple cardigan, my left hand was reminding me that I need to treat it with care. So, mostly I've had a couple of days of doing Sudoku puzzles and fretting about copyright infringement. And my left hand is reminding me that I can't type out the whole sordid story if I hope to do any knitting later today. If you want to know what it's all about, go read The Girl From Auntie's journal for the last couple of days. The short version is that one of my patterns was included in a collection without my consent and that my photo was used to promote this book!

I am already feeling the heat of a long summer with my kids. Why are there no neighborhood kids around anywhere any more? They're all in day care, I guess.